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Inquirer's Ferrer: "Striking nurses hold the edge"

December 7, 2003 -- Today the Philadelphia Inquirer's columnist Tom Ferrick suggested that the strike of Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP) nurses over "mandation" is a "post-modern" one in which the "serfs" may win, because the nursing shortage has hampered the hospital's ability to hire replacement workers and resulted in a drastic reduction in its patient census.

Evidently the MCP nurses, who struck last month over mandation (forced overtime), have rejected hospital owner Tenet Health Care's latest offer because it did not end the practice. Ferrick says that while physicians were once considered "gods" and nurses "angels," today's nurses are well-paid professionals who are less willing to be treated as "serfs." Pennsylvania State Nurses Association head Michele Campbell notes that the main reasons for mandation are, in Ferrick's words, "the shortage of acute care nurses (read: nurses willing to work in hospitals) and corporatization of health care (read: the relentless search for ways to cut costs)."

See Tom Ferrick's article "Striking nurses hold the edge" in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Tom Ferrick may be sent notes of thanks for his supportive article at